‘Terror trends in Europe are cause for concern’
The number of countries that experienced at least one death from terrorism was greater last year than at any time in the past 17 years, increasing from 65 in 2015 to 77 in 2016, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2017.
And the overall global score – which registers the effect of terrorism – decreased by 4 per cent.
“The really big improvement occurred in Nigeria, because Boko Haram was the deadliest group two years ago,” said Daniel Hyslop, research director at the Institute for Economics and Peace, which developed the report.
“Deaths have gone down 80 per cent, which means 3,000 fewer people being killed from terrorism in that country, thanks to co-operation in that region.”
A more concerning trend is in Europe and in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, where last year was the worst – excluding 9/11 – since 1988 for terrorist deaths.
“When you look at the region, it’s because of an increase in lone actor attacks and ISIL-inspired extremists,” he said.
“There were 82 deaths from terrorism in OECD countries and there were 260 for the full year of 2016, so by raw count of deaths, there have been fewer deaths.”
But, he said, the trend could swing the other way.
“We know there’s a large number of lone actors that security services are monitoring and there’s always the potential for there to be an increase in the trend,” Mr Hyslop said. “But the report also shows the number of foiled attacks have improved, from 19 per cent in 2015 to 34 per cent in 2016.”
Since the Nice lorry attack in July last year, at least 13 other attacks using vehicles have been carried out in OECD countries, including the one in Manhattan two weeks ago.
Eleven of these attacks targeted civilians, with at least six targeting crowds.